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Fabio Capello defends England against criticism

Fabio Capello has brushed off criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson regarding England's upcoming friendly with Brazil in Qatar, claiming his international players will enjoy a lighter burden of work than most.

• Fergie unhappy with friendly

England travel to the Middle East to face the five-time World Cup winners on November 14 but the mid-season jaunt has not been warmly received by Manchester United manager Ferguson.

Without directly mentioning the Qatar friendly, Ferguson has expressed his concern at the "intrusion" of playing a game "in some unknown country" at a busy time of the season for clubs.

But Capello hopes that the game against Dunga's Brazil will be valuable preparation for England's campaign at the finals next summer and has highlighted the fact that a number of countries are actually playing two games during the upcoming international break.

"I don't understand what this is all about," Capello said. "Most other countries are playing two games but we are only playing one match and returning the players on Sunday, four days earlier than the other countries.

"We did this out of respect to the players and their clubs at such a busy time in the fixture calendar."


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